Sebastiaan Vaessen

The Emerging Market

This article is written by Clinton James, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.

Sebastiaan Vaessen is Group Head of Strategy at Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Sebastiaan is responsible for group portfolio strategy, identifying new investment opportunities, corporate development, and special projects. He was present at Startup Turkey where he talked about emerging markets in today’s world.

“It is the digital age”, a phrase commonly used. While that is true, the problem is that things are rapidly developing. Sometime back web applications usage was on the peak, but this is slowly changing and people spend a lot of their time on mobile phones than on PCs.  Imagine a generation where 80% of its traffic comes from mobile phones, and web applications are used by mostly desktop users.

Social media has had a lot of influence on this. Sebastian Vaessen, Head of Strategy at Naspers Limited, argues during Startup Turkey event, that web applications are more used for e-commerce than mobile applications, even if he was to agree on them, it’s not in the manner that he concocted. Contemplate by the fact that it turns out, even Instagram is also used for E-commerce to sell products among other social and marketing uses.

Key things to think about when you want to be the next big thing, can you be the next Facebook. First you have to think Mobile, by this I mean your data has to be accessible via mobile phones to its users, most data users are mobile, almost a trend around the globe so is its market. Messaging, a feature of most mobile users’, statistics have enounce that users enjoy responses and a platform to always ask questions and as well receive feedback, hence the messaging capability.

For Pictures and Videos, the market is constantly attracted to Graphics than to text, most clients see an image, then read the contents if interested, and then view its Unique Emerging Market Needs. Let’s pause for a minute, we all know some ideas that were brought to the table that were not there before, how are they different? Consider, “totally out of the box.” The ideas should be some of the things that the Silicon Valley does not see! Things that are not easily predicted to have a solution.

Let us look at some of the problems that have been solved that were out of the box! ‘WeChat’ is an application has become a platform to pay for almost anything, it is a messaging app with approximately 650 Million users in a week of the Chinese New year, the application made 8 Billion transactions in its applications.

‘RedBus’ is an application base is in India, which has one of the most complex bus markets. These guys provided a means to actually put all that complexity into an application where someone can book a bus with a pickup and a drop-off point, and the payments all done! The app lets you search and book from more than 67,000 routes worldwide and choose from over 1,800 bus operators.

There are a lot more innovations out there that are out of the box, by mentioning Trackpad and Letgo, you can look into them at your own pace. If you want to be the next big thing, find a problem that looks unsolvable. Crack it and the world will look for you!

─ June 17, 2019